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Smith answers the Cougars call

Two-time Dally M Coach of the Year Brian Smith is joining the Casino RSM Cougars as a coaching consultant for the 2024 season.

Smith coached five NRL sides – Illawarra, St George, Parramatta, Newcastle and Sydney Roosters – along with three Super League teams in Hull, Bradford and Wakefield Trinity.

His appointment is among a raft of changes for the Cougars, which is where Smith wore the halfback jersey in first grade before relocating to Sydney to play and eventually coach.

Renowned Rugby League identity in northern NSW, Travis Falls, is succeeding Joe Maloney as President while Life Member Chris McGrath is the new Vice-President of the Casino RSM Cougars, whose products include True Blues Ross Conlon, Ben Kennedy, Cody Walker and Matt King.

“Brian is renowned for his expertise as a top-notch development coach and educator in fundamental aspects of the game,” Falls said in a media release.

Falls said he wanted to strengthen the relationship between the Junior and Senior grades “to foster a sense of belonging”.

“The new club committee wants to maintain a strong focus on achieving success on the field in all grades, while equalling recognising the vital role the Cougars play in the community,” he said.

Funding through the Richmond Valley Council and Casino Rugby League has brought significant improvements, including fencing around the main field, upgrades to the second field, underground irrigation, a new top-surface, and a $1.6 million facelift to club-house facilities.

He thanked local businesses, notably the major sponsor since 1966 the Casino RSM Club, for their ongoing support plus the work being done by the Casino Food Co-op as one of the region’s largest employers.

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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